Do I need to do a loading day in a weight loss diet


Have you been following a strict diet for so long that you can no longer remember exactly when you started? Have you reduced your calorie intake to a minimum to overcome the plateau effect? If you answered “yes” to at least one of the two listed questions, then most likely you need to make a boot day.

Do I need to do a loading day in a weight loss dietDo I need to do a loading day in a weight loss diet

Have you been following a strict diet for so long that you can no longer remember exactly when you started? Have you reduced your calorie intake to a minimum to overcome the plateau effect? If you answered “yes” to at least one of the two listed questions, then most likely you need to make a boot day.

If you have experience with weight loss, then you have probably experienced a plateau effect or even a little weight gain. This body reaction usually occurs after several weeks or months of dieting.

Weight loss can slow down with each week until the arrow of the scale freezes in place. Reason and science at times like this tell us that we must move on with a calorie deficit to accelerate the achievement of our cherished goal.

However, science also suggests to temporarily “deceive” our body, which has just adapted to a calorie deficit of dietary food.

Why is weight loss stopping?

The diet minimizes leptin, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) levels while cortisol is elevated. Leptin suppresses hunger, T3 and T4 increase the basal metabolic rate, and cortisol increases blood sugar and speeds up protein breakdown.

The human body, in the process of evolution, has learned to preserve body fat due to the loss of muscle mass. The trick is to reverse these negative processes by making your body think you are no longer limited in calorie intake.

What is a boot day?

A boot day is a special part of a cyclical carbohydrate consumption strategy. Instead of high, medium, and low carb days, you have normal carb days and loading days.

By increasing your carbohydrate intake, you increase leptin levels and energy expenditure. With an increased intake of carbohydrates, the release of the hormone insulin into the blood increases, which is useful as a substance that suppresses protein breakdown in muscles, and also stimulates testosterone production (in men).

Boot days are especially important for women because if leptin levels are not high enough, menstruation can stop. That is, loading contributes to the preservation of longevity and health.

The frequency of loading days and the percentage of excess carbohydrates consumed on those days depend on many factors:

  • Duration of the diet;
  • Calorie deficit, carbohydrate deficit;
  • Body fat percentage;
  • Genetics;
  • Physical activity.

Typically, the more you limit your carbohydrate intake on diet days, the more carbohydrates you need to consume on loading days.

Increasing fat intake on the loading day interferes with the increase in leptin levels.

Benefits of loading days

Boot days will ease the tough fight against excess weight. Keeping a calorie deficit for a long time is tiring (although it helps to increase life expectancy).

Sometimes an increase in daily calories, especially due to carbohydrates can:

1. Reduce hunger! Not only due to the consumption of more food, but also due to an increase in the level of leptin – “the hormone of satiety.”

2. Increase energy expenditure despite being in a calorie deficit. Our body reduces energy expenditure while decreasing energy consumption. Increasing your carbohydrate intake from time to time will help increase your energy expenditure even on a long-term diet.

3. Make dieting easier: It’s much easier to be in a calorie deficit if you know you can eat more on certain days. This approach to losing weight is much more effective in avoiding breakdowns and gluttony. And also allows (in case of urgent need) to enjoy the consumption of your favorite product / dish.

4. Revitalize the diet with more carbohydrates, making it more bearable.

5. Avoiding a breakdown: a calorie deficit for a long time is difficult to sustain. Almost the entire period of adherence to the diet during “drying” a person experiences stress. Therefore, breakdowns very often occur: as soon as the goal of the diet is achieved, a person begins to eat everything. Boot days will make exiting the diet smoother, without interruptions.

6. Increase energy consumption and labor productivity. Rapid fat burning occurs with the loss of a small percentage of muscle. You need to constantly fight for their safety and strive for their growth while following a diet. Increased consumption of carbohydrates, which occurs rarely, but periodically, allows you to replenish the supply of glycogen in muscles, and therefore, to preserve muscle tissue.

What is cheating?


Cheat dishes and cheat days should be viewed as a specific kind of loading. Cheating is also about consuming more calories, but with psychological benefits.

Eating a hamburger, french fries, and ice cream (especially if you eat it one last time) can make a person very happy. But don’t forget that cheat meal and loading days in terms of benefits for …


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